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Understanding the Roles of a Parent Coordinator in Bucks County Custody Cases
October 2nd, 2012

Conflicts can occur in custody cases even after the establishment of a custody order. In some cases, the parents are unable to address routine, everyday issues that can arise while co-parenting. In such matters, a Parent Coordinator may be necessary.

What is a Parent Coordinator?

A Parent Coordinator is a qualified neutral person appointed by the court, or agreed to by the parties, to facilitate the resolution of day to-day parenting issues that arise within the context of family life when parents are separated. Williams Family Law has attorneys who serve as Parent Coordinators in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

What do Parent Coordinators do?

The Parent Coordinator’s goal is to aid parents in monitoring the existing parenting plan, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring possibilities for compromise and developing methods of communication that promote collaboration in parenting. The Parent Coordinator attempts to resolve issues arising out of the custody order/parenting plan through facilitation, consultation, coaching and education, all of which are non-decision-making functions. The Parent Coordinator also makes decisions or recommendations, as may be appropriate, when the parents are unable to do so.

In the event it becomes apparent to the Parent Coordinator that continued similar efforts at settlement are unlikely to resolve particular parenting issues, the Coordinator’s goal is to work towards a resolution of the dispute by providing a binding decision. That decision, much like a judge’s order, must follow the decision making process set forth in the document/order appointing the Parent Coordinator.

Parent Coordinators also:

  • Educate parents about children’s developmental needs and the impact of divorce;
  • Highlight the importance of putting children’s needs first;
  • Teach parents communication skills;
  • Coach parents on how to resolve disagreements about their children;
  • Implement non-intrusive methods of communication between parents to keep both informed of events in the life of the child;
  • Assist in choosing appropriate extracurricular activities;
  • Facilitate age-appropriate communication with children when they are in the custody of the other parent; and
  • Resolve issues as to custody exchange locations and times.

Can anyone use a Parent Coordinator?

Parent coordination is not to be utilized in every child custody case. It is only used in cases where the parties are considered high-conflict and unable to resolve even the seemingly simplest issues between themselves.

Who pays for the Parent Coordinator?

The hourly rates associated with the service of a Parent Coordinator are usually divided between the parties.

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